Thought For Today 07/30/2021: Scripture, the Pharisees, and Eternal Life

We were created by God, but we are not all God’s people

 

By Greg Holt

Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” John 5:39

(ICB)  Not everything is as it appears, or as we might be tempted to think it is.  The Pharisees though that in the Scriptures they had found and possessed eternal life.  The thought was that if one did all that was commanded in the Scriptures, following all things spoken of quite literally with no room for deviation whatsoever, then one would have eternal life.  Translation – legalism.

This was and is classic – “cannot see the forest for the trees.”

The Scriptures, the Bible, the Word, whatever you want to term this oh so important collection of words – is all about Jesus.  Talk about missing the point!

This would be like asking someone what the most important thing, the greatest value is – of receiving eternal life, and the answer you receive is that going to Heaven is the most important thing concerning salvation.  While a place in Heaven is important, the greatest thing about salvation is the way in which we are changed, as in we become more like Jesus, and less like the rest of the world.

12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”  Acts 4:12

Eternal life is found only in and through Jesus Christ.  Some will say that this “idea” is ridiculous, arrogant, condescending and untrue among other things.  That still does not change the fact that it is true.  I dealt with a person that had this exact attitude, but through patient teaching and explanation with examples that relate to the “real” world, this person came to faith in Jesus.  Have faith, pray, and keep talking!

16 for by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:”   Colossians 1:16

We were created by God, but we are not all God’s people.  The Pharisees thought they were, and they were mistaken.  They and many others today:

  • Misinterpret the Bible, through ignorance or wilfully
  • Add their own rules and strictures to what the Bible teaches
  • Allow many things that the Bible specifically forbids
  • Discredit parts of the Bible and even Jesus own teaching

There is more than that of course but the idea is established.

The Scriptures (the Bible) in no way saves us.  The Bible is all about Jesus, and it is Jesus that saves us.

In the same vein as the above, there is an unfortunate misconception held by many today, and that is the idea that one can simply say a prayer and presto! – you are saved.  Except it does not work that way.

We are saved by grace through faith, faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9).  While it is of course true that we are saved by grace, through faith, there is a little more to it than that.  It is the same with the “sinners prayer.”

24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”  James 2:24-26

Read the entire chapter in James to get the whole picture.

Just as true faith will produce the good works, so to will a true confession of faith, a prayer for salvation – produce a changed life and an authentic faith in Jesus.  There is no simple prayer that suffices, action will follow that prayer.  There will be a willingness to put away the Old Man, and the life that he led, to be replaced with the New Man and a new life.

Revere, respect, learn, and follow the words in the Bible – place your unrelenting steadfast and true faith in Jesus Christ and no other.

 

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2 replies

Luke 21:36 "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man."

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